Sunday, June 27, 2010

Caught In The Act

A classic video of Kip McKean recently surfaced on YouTube. It was recorded during the ICOC's zenith (March 5, 1995 to be exact) and offers an insight to the false Jesus he teaches, but the delivery methods of his heresies as well.

He's speaking so fast that it's hard to determine what he's saying! Here's the transcript:

Well, you know this prayer needs to be prayed by disciples. And know this: you say "Well, why did Jesus need to pray for three hours?" It took him three hours to get his heart right. ("Amen" from audience) Does that help you relate to Jesus? ("Amen" from audience) You see, a lot of times we say "well, I don't want to do this" or "the leaders want me to do this" or "I've got to go on a mission team" or I "do this" or "do that" or "I don't want to be nice to my wife" or "I don't want to do that at work" or whatever, you say "What do I do about it?" Pray. ("Amen" from audience) Why do I pray? You pray not my will by God's will be done. ("Amen" from audience) "Well, how long do I pray?" Well, you pray until that's where your heart is at. Are you with me right here? ("Amen" from audience) See how that works? ("Amen" from audience) That's why prayer always works. You can't stop praying until you're there. ("Amen" from audience) I remember... (end of clip)

First, Kip claims that Jesus had "to get his heart right". From the perspective of Christ's humanity, He had hours left before He had to go through the stress and agony of the crux of His earthly mission: to die a sacrificial death, taking the sin of the world upon Himself so that we can have a relationship with the Father. He even sweated drops of blood! Now, were any of the feelings, thoughts, or physical reactions sinful? Absolutely not! Jesus is God. Jesus is perfect. Jesus can't sin. So how do we reconcile this immutable fact (one of the bedrock doctrines of Christianity) with Kip's claim that Jesus's heart wasn't in the right place? In McKeanist terminology, "having your heart in the right place" means that your feelings, thoughts, and actions correspond to what the discipling hierarchy and leadership expect, not necessarily what God expects. So either Jesus was in sin by not living up to Kip's expectations (Jesus would have "toughed it out") or Kip's assertion is incorrect and is heretical.

Second, notice that the list of things Kip says that involve God's will revolve around the leadership giving commands to the common disciple and the disciple not having "the right heart" to follow the command. Kip's rapid speech, hand gestures, and call-response with the audience manipulate his hearers to believe that Kip's misapplication of scripture is true and is a valid method to correct their hearts when they don't want to obey their discipler or leader.

Third, praying until you have a "right heart" by repeating a formula is not prayer - it's more like a mantra. Prayer is not a formula, it's communication from a Christian to God that builds intimacy between them. Many ex-members have been given the advice to pray about something until their "hearts are right" and most end up dejected and depressed because they can't get to the point where they feel like they can't get there. Ultimately, it's just manipulative tactics to give the discipling hierarchy and leadership power over everyone - with Kip McKean himself at the top.

Overall, this is one of many examples of Kip McKean's teachings that are ingrained in both the old International Churches of Christ and new "sold-out" International Christian Churches. It's a good example for people studying and attempting to leave and recovering from the movement to study though.